A lesson worth learning

16 Sep 2014 16:49 #1 by Treherne
Treherne created the topic: A lesson worth learning
I had planned to write a long winded post about the trials and tribulations of purchasing an OKA, or any vehicle for that matter. It’s simple, but so important. Make sure you do your due diligence on the vehicle you’re intending to buy. If you’re pretty savvy mechanically and can spot any structural faults or integral wiring anomalies then you’re OK. But, if on the other hand you’re not 100% sure, then it pays to get a comprehensive engineers report done on the intended vehicle. In my case that’s something I wished I done.

In 2012 my Mother passed away, part of her legacy to me was a small inheritance. It gave me an opportunity to pursue a dream I had been nurturing for some time. My plan was to build a remote outback mobile studio for digital production. The idea being to be able to take out photographers or film makers to hard to access regions… Will that was the plan. So I needed a vehicle… you guessed it, an OKA. I had long admired OKAs but never thought I’d own one. In late 2012 the opportunity to buy an OKA presented itself.

I bought OKA 243 in late 2012 from a tourist operator located in Cairns. Some of you know the OKA I’m talking about and the previous owner in question, no need to name names. From all accounts it was meant to be a sound vehicle, a good OKA. But alas there were serious problems lurking under the skin. For a few months I blissfully when about my business. The OKA was bought, it was having some work done to it, a mechanical check over, a new set of tyres and a good service. All seemed good… my dream was being realized.

But, I was mistaken, I trusted the then owner and believed all the stories I was being told. Some 4 months later it was time to re-register the OKA and the real state of the vehicle was revealed. It never passed its compliance pre-rego test, and 11 defect notices were issued on OKA243. Its almost 2 years ago I bought the vehicle I’ve explored different avenues on how to resolve this matter, to no avail.

The previous owner has been contacted but has elected not to respond. To take this matter to courts was going to be too cost prohibitive and time consuming and with no guarantee of an outcome. I looked into getting the TMR (Dept. of Transport and Main Roads) Compliance Section responsible for the testing to explain how there could be such a discrepancy between their Compliance Testing Centres. The TMR response was to reject any fault on their part and states there tests are done within government standards and if there was any defects they would have been found and reported. Therefore, it had to have happened in the time between tests, within the period of my ownership. The long and the short of it is that I would have to take them to court to prove it. My legal advice was it was highly unlikely to have a good court result.

I had just about given up on it all, as I simply didn’t have the resources to fight either parties in court. The time factor was also of concern to me now, it was all taking too long. At this stage I’d become despondent by the whole ordeal. I had to except the fact that I’d ran out of both money and time. For me, it had become a very bitter pill to swallow. It seemed at that stage my best option was going to be to cut my losses and put it all behind me.

But, thankfully I have a great family and good friends who have rallied behind me… Dreams are worth having, and I have no plan to let this one get away. So I’m in for the long haul, time to get busy. A special thanks to Lobo for all his help and supportive words of encouragement. A further thanks to all the people who have offered their help… I’ll be in touch. I’m going need all the help I can get. Thanks again Damian (OKA243)

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16 Sep 2014 17:22 #2 by DarrenWebster303
DarrenWebster303 replied the topic: A lesson worth learning
Damian, don't let the red tape spoil your party, so to speak. Anything parts wise is at hand through Alan & Paul, & plenty of knowledge here with all the experience gained from similar situations of many other owners. Persist & a great vehicle is the reward. Never be afraid to ask questions here either.

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16 Sep 2014 20:55 #3 by Outback Jack
Outback Jack replied the topic: A lesson worth learning

You have my contact details and feel free to call me anytime you need to or feel its all getting to much.

The beauty about an OKA is nothing is really terminal. It just takes time, especially if you don't have the money upfront.

I would send the engineers report to Al at OKA Parts and come up with a project plan. Al is a top bloke and will steer you in the right direction.

Before you know it, you will be on the road. You don't have to do everything in one hit. Just get the major things sorted for rego. Then work on the rest as you go.

Look Forward mate, you will get there. OKA`s are not like any other vehicle and can be rebuilt even in their worst state.
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17 Sep 2014 08:48 #4 by Treherne
Treherne replied the topic: A lesson worth learning
Hi Darren, yeah the biggest dump in the road was me it turned out... But thankfully I'm back on track. Ah, Alan & Paul? Are they from OKA Spares? Wouldn't have there contact details would you? Thanks for your kind words - Damian OKA243

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17 Sep 2014 12:07 #5 by OKABloke
OKABloke replied the topic: A lesson worth learning
Allan: OKA Parts Australia:- 08 9223 6115
Paul Knott: 0418 125 428
Ian Jones: 0408 057 973

For Sale:
XT and LT Parts and Service Manuals Available on CD or Download. $150.00 Set

OKA 4x4 Facebook Page

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18 Sep 2014 19:57 #6 by Dean and Kaye Howells
Dean and Kaye Howells replied the topic: A lesson worth learning
Hi Damian, it's a shame that your OKA experience has been a bit poor to date. As others have said, there's a wealth of knowledge and experience available to you on this forum to help you through. Alan, Paul and Ian are all good blokes, extremely knowledgeable in all things OKA, real easy to deal with and very helpful.

Perhaps you can break it down a bit ?, 11 defect notices ? don't know what this terminology means from a Victorian perspective but perhaps 11 things that need fixing ? Is this as simple as crook wiper blades counting as one defect 'notice' and a blown tail light globe being another ? Hardly a big deal but as I said, I'm unsure of the terminology here.

Like all 4WD's the OKA is a high maintenance vehicle, but unlike other 4WD's it is a very simple machine and can be kept up to standard with basic mechanical expertise. If this isn't you then it can be a very costly vehicle to own and run, like any other 4WD.

Perhaps you could list the 11 defects and the collective expertise of this forums members may help in leading you to the 'promised land' :))

Deano :)

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19 Sep 2014 16:09 #7 by Treherne
Treherne replied the topic: A lesson worth learning
Hi Deano, I can sent you the engineers report if you like. Just PM your email details to me or anyone else who want to take a look. I think it would be to big a file to attach it to the post. Yeah, I got quite down with it all. But, time to move on and get on with the dream. I have already spoken to Al, and he's going put something together for me so I can get an idea of costings. Its looking like the back will have to come off to fix it up. So I was thinking of turning her into a ute in the mean time. Just got to find a rear fiberglass shroud and a tray any got any ideas? - Damian 243

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